The party at home? Not for PSG... Crowned champion of France last Saturday, after their draw in Strasbourg (1-1), the Red and Blue hoped to celebrate in front of their public this Saturday, against Clermont, on the 38th and last day of Ligue 1. It will not be so... "There will be no party, it's a very difficult week, we are all affected. We went from a France championship title on Saturday night, with a few glasses of champagne, to a more than painful awakening Sunday morning. There is this serious accident. Everyone is very affected, "said Christophe Galtier this Thursday, at a press conference. The Parisian coach is obviously referring to the situation of Sergio Rico, still nailed to a hospital bed in Spain and whose situation is worrying. "The heart is heavy," he whispers.
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The 56-year-old technician had no fresh news to give about the state of health of the 29-year-old Spanish international goalkeeper, usual number 2 in the Paris goals. "Our doctor is in constant contact with the family and the medical staff around Sergio, we do not have more information than that," he says. Limiting himself, with his players, "to send a lot of positive vibes and energy to Sergio and his loved ones, his mother, his wife ... In these moments, you have to have a lot of restraint, but also bring a lot of support, keep hope. He's a strong boy, physically strong," he promises. He added: "He fights, it's the most important fight for him. You have to believe in life and medicine.»
Football as an "outlet"
In these conditions, even the preparation of the match against Clermont is complicated. "We try as best we can to change our minds through training sessions that do not correspond in any way to match preparation because we make sure, with the players, to change our ideas on the field," says "Galette", seeing the work sessions as an "outlet". "All the time spent off the pitch, all our thoughts are with Sergio. We make sure, as soon as we are on the field, with a maximum of playful situations, that the players evacuate this sadness, this pain of seeing their companion, partner, friend fight every day, every hour, every minute. We try to bring pleasure into the session. I realize, in this hour, that the players take this as a bowl of oxygen before diving back into the questioning related to the situation. " Which players, worried, "ask all the time news" of the former Sevilla player. The Andalusian club did not fail to have attention to him on the sidelines of the final (won) of the Europa League, Wednesday, in Budapest.
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Obviously, Paris-SG will do the same on Saturday. A tribute? No, words have meaning. And the time is for "hope" in the Parisian ranks: "It will not be a tribute, but a message of support and hope. He fights. There will be a message of support, transfer of energy, I do not have the words, it is not easy today. Obviously, there will be a big and strong message of support for Sergio from the players, the club and our supporters. We're going to play this game because we have to play it and we have to play it with the best possible behavior and making sure that it's... Not a nice evening, but that it can be pleasant for the latter.»
It will not be a tribute, but a message of support and hope.
And to continue: "We will have to finish on a good note. For Sergio and our supporters, who will be present and numerous, we will have to play a real football match and try to find pleasure in this difficult period. (...) Preparation? It's not easy but we have to continue, for the team, for Sergio, always positive and keep hope.»